Ambleside AC’s Matthew Elkington was the winner of the Black Combe Runners-organised Dunnerdale five-mile, 1804ft ascent race from the picturesque hamlet of Broughton Mills.

The route took in a lung-busting uphill road section to the foot of the Knott, which is then climbed before runners take in the checkpoints at Raven Crag, Stickle Pike and Great Stickle, prior to a fast run back to the finish in the field opposite the Blacksmith’s Arms pub.

Dry weather made this year’s race a joy to run, even though the ground conditions were at times slippery and boggy, following a lot of rain in the hours leading up to raceday.

A slightly higher than normal entry field of 201 runners toed the line for the lunchtime start and there were just four retirees, with England international Victoria Wilkinson of Bingley Harriers being one of the unfortunate quartet not to finish.

Leading from the start was local runner Elkington, who is no stranger to winning fell races, and he duly obliged with another Cumbrian event under his belt, when he pipped Carl Bell (Keswick AC), who had to settle for third (40:29) by clocking 40mins 10secs, with Daniel Haworth (Matlock AC) the runner-up, 16 seconds behind Elkington in 40:26.

Tom Addison (Helm Hill Runners) also dipped under 41 minutes for fourth, meaning there were just 30 seconds between them all.

For the host club, Josh Hartley was the first back in 43:52, and 13th overall, whilst Helm Hill’s Rob Jebb scooped the male vet 40 prize with his time of 41:44.

Lloyd Taggart (Manx Fell Runners) was first vet 50 back in 41:32, and the under-23 prize went to Carnethey Hill Runners’ Alistair Mason in a very pleasing 41:54.

The women’s race was a one-horse affair with Helm Hill Runners’ Kelli Roberts securing the win in a very fast 46:36, keeping her clubmate Sharon Taylor at bay by 133 seconds.

Taylor collected the FV40 prize, but hot on her heels for third lady overall was Holmfirth Harriers’ Helen Berry (50:14). BCR’s Jess Lawrence was the first ‘green and black’ to finish in 58:21.

A good club turnout of 22 Black Combe Runners took part, with many also on marshaling duties.

Remaining BCR times: John Millen (51:04), Richard Watson (51:15), Gavin Lloyd (51:30), Matthew Allen (51:43), John Evason (52:25), Peter Coupe (54:50), Nick Sebley (57:02), Steve Wathall (57:21), Simon Austin (58:03), Patrick McIver (58:55), William Ross (59:27), Phil Clayton (60:51), Mike Jewell (61:44), Susan Ross (62:33), Beth Ripper (64:01), James Goffe (66:15), Jonathan Bailey (67:58), David Scott-Maxwell (70:56), Karl Fursey (79:17) and Andrew Gittins (80:35).